Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Jefferson's Qur'an and the Barbary Wars

Democrat Keith Ellison recently posed with his hand on Thomas Jefferson’s Qur’an during the photo-op for his ceremonial swearing in as U.S. Congressman. Ted Sampley provides intersting background on the Qur’an and the Jefferson administration. Excerpts appear below but if time permits, please read the entire article at U.S. Veteran Dispatch.
Ellison's use of Jefferson's Quran as a prop illuminates a subject once
well-known in the history of the United States, but, which today, is mostly
forgotten - the Muslim pirate slavers who over many centuries enslaved millions
of Africans and tens of thousands of Christian Europeans and Americans in the
Islamic "Barbary" states.

It was typical of Muslim raiders to kill off as many of the "non-Muslim"
older men and women as possible so the preferred "booty" of only young women and children could be collected.

In 1786, Jefferson, then the American ambassador to France, and Adams, then
the American ambassador to Britain, met in London with…the "Dey of Algiers"
ambassador to Britain.

The Americans wanted to negotiate a peace treaty based on Congress' vote to

For the following 15 years, the American government paid the Muslims
millions of dollars for the safe passage of American ships or the return of
American hostages. The payments in ransom and tribute amounted to 20 percent of
United States government annual revenues in 1800.

Not long after Jefferson's inauguration as president in 1801, he dispatched
a group of frigates to defend American interests in the Mediterranean, and
informed Congress.

In 1805, American Marines marched across the dessert from Egypt into
Tripolitania, forcing the surrender of Tripoli and the freeing of all American

During the Jefferson administration, the Muslim Barbary States, crumbling
as a result of intense American naval bombardment and on shore raids by Marines,
finally officially agreed to abandon slavery and piracy.

Jefferson's victory over the Muslims lives on today in the Marine Hymn,
with the line, "From the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli, we will
fight our country's battles on the land as on the sea."

Jefferson had been right. The "medium of war" was the only way to put and
end to the Muslim problem. Mr. Ellison was right about Jefferson. He was a
"visionary" wise enough to read and learn about the enemy from their own Muslim
book of jihad.
For more background on the Barbary Wars see Answers.Com, or Columbia Encyclopedia.